By Xavier Fontdegloria


U.S. homebuilders confidence fell in January following four months of gains as growing inflation concerns and supply-chain disruptions outweighed solid consumer demand, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders released Tuesday. Here are the report's main takeaways:

--The association's housing-market index, which gauges the single-family housing market, fell to 83 in January from 84 in December. A number above 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

--The index came in below the 84 consensus forecast from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

--The aggregate cost of residential construction materials has increased almost 19% since December 2021, NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said. "Higher material costs and lack of availability are adding weeks to typical single-family construction times," he said.

--January data don't fully reflect the recent jump in mortgage interest rates, a factor that could weigh on demand, NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz said. "While lean existing home inventory and solid buyer demand are supporting the need for new construction, the combination of ongoing increases for building materials, worsening skilled labor shortages and higher mortgage rates point to declines for housing affordability in 2022," he said.

--The index gauging current sales conditions held steady at 90; the component measuring traffic of prospective buyers declined two points, to 69; and the measure of sales expectations in the next six months also fell two points, to 83.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 18, 2022 10:14 ET (15:14 GMT)

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